WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Yesterday was the deadliest day in law enforcement since 9/11. Twelve Dallas police officers were shot and five killed at a peaceful protest against the police involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier this week.
As we, as a nation, attempt to process the shock, sadness and anger - community leaders in Wichita Falls appeal for calm and open communication. Many residents say they are hopeful that we can get through this together.
"We look out for each other here - we care about each other. We are a community whether we live in Wichita Falls, Graham or Burkburnett. If someone is in trouble or in need we all come to the aid of that person. Whether they be black, brown, white or Mexican or the police officers themselves. If they need our help we come together as a community."
Community leaders say communication is key.
"It's important to communicate. A lot of people do not know how to reach out. They are fearful with what has happened of reaching out - but someone has to take the first step to reach out."
They also say firm leadership is key.
"People follow as they are lead. It would be wise for the leaders to address any issues in a diplomatic manner to give
comfort and assurance to our community."
Cowboy Johnny Mantel and the Wrestling Hall of Fame put together a moment of silence at noon today for the officers who lost their lives and their families at a park in downtown Wichita Falls.
Feelings of sadness were palpable throughout the city. Uriel Ross' nephew is a police officer and most of his friends are in law enforcement.
"Something like what happened in Dallas - it really broke my heart and I just hope that it doesn't ever happen again. It really hurt me it really did."
"The things that have happened in Dallas, it's heartbreaking that it would happen the way it does."
"We have to realize that we have start within first and it's not just black matters, it's not just police matters, it's not just Hispanic matters, it is humanity matters."